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Thread: Wheel recommendations?

  1. #11
    I got some awesome Spinergy Spox, Lin. They came all done up and perfect so I'm really excited. Although I did have a slight mishap, which I am embarrassed to report. (Smart self on left, dumb self on right.) I switched my bike pump to Presta after a bit of work figuring it's just a tiny hand pump...put the things together and aired up the tire...then somehow broke the valve in the bike pump! After my shoulders were really tired! Now, a smart person would have probably just given up by that point....and ran with whatever air was in the tube at that point (I specifically thought it was a good idea for them to be shipped with flat tubes, so one did not explode in pressure changes and scare the postal workers terribly!), but I thought to myself, "Okay, I'll just consider this a sign and go ahead and replace that tube, so I don't have to deal with it far from home. Again, smart self on left, dumb self on right...

    No matter what I did, I could not get the tires to come off. Finally, after doing tons of research, and watching several movies, I stole the idea to soap the tire up with dish soap (any stuff in a spray bottle will work; one of the movies used Lysol spray; so did I because that's what I had on hand). I got the tires off with a lot of work! Yeah! Then came time to put the new tubes in and put them back together...I even used dish soap in reverse. It did not work! I got 3/4 of the tire on, but the last 1/4 won't go on at all. I think I've tried everything I know, so I have reservations at the bike shop next week and I'll drop them off before work and pick them up after work or whenever they're done. I doubt it will take them long, even though I've heard Kendas on Spinergies are tough to work. They're my friendly bike shop that has no problem doing wheels and will charge me an excellent rate, so I don't mind waiting. I also checked with bike shops more local to me, which would have been nice...but they do not do wheelchair wheels. It is just not profitable for them, and I understand that.

    In the meantime, I was wise and went down to WalMart and bought myself a decent floor pump that does both Schrader & Presta valves with the click of a button and can be operated via pushing down (instead of pulling back). I've tried it for a short amount of time and find it much better to use. I haven't put the tires up to 110 psi yet, mostly because I've been spending a lot of time trying to get the new tube and tire put together (when will I wise up?!) - but I've got the other tire and rim to practice on (preferably before I go to the bike shop, in case I do something stupid again).

    I have a second Schrader (extra) tube that fits these wheels, plus the one with the broken valve, but with a bike pump that will do either Schrader or Presta with the click of a finger, and my tiny hand pump also being tradeable valves, I'll be okay running a valve of each. It will help me tell them apart too...but I promise, there are easier ways (already on the wheels too) - to tell them apart besides going through what I just did, LOL!!

    Hey, if I wasn't stubborn, I wouldn't have made it this far. Now I need to find myself an emoticon a bit more supportive than a frying pan... Yeah, foot in mouth and no talking about it! Laugh.

    Really looking forward to getting the tire / tube on the rim and the other one aired up (that I can do). Then I might also ask my handy bike shop guys and gals if they wouldn't mind also lending me a hand with a camber tube adjustment (my regular accomplice for wheelchair adjustments is injured, so I can't bug him for any repairs. Not tires, not camber tubes, not brakes...or RSH / FSH - but at least he will eventually be okay. And my handy bike shop is a fun place to go. I think the bike shop even has fun with me! (I bring a fun chair, a sweet puppy, a good sense of humor...what else could you need?)

    Happy holidays!

    Last edited by Mystery; 12-23-2014 at 07:46 PM. Reason: removed a stray extra line :)

  2. #12
    I've got to run (play with) my new Spinergy Spox for two days! They're doing awesome!

    I finally worked on Tuesday the 30th which meant I had a nice fit for the bike shop near work (local bike shops are not set up for wheelchair wheels - they do not find it economical which is understandable). I needed the shop to help me fit on the tire and left them both wheels. I took my old basketball chair (Quickie R2) which is set up with some dump and other settings that meant that if I tried to slap the 25's on the chair I thought I would have better luck with the measurements than if I tried to put them on my Quickie Ti which has no dump and different casters that I might have to re-square.

    The nice part is that the Quickie R2 also has better transit securement ability which is nice on bad weather days, hee hee.

    For anyone wondering, I was able to transport the extra wheels by putting them on my lap handrim to handrim, then looping a dog leash around my waist and through the handle. Then loop the collar clip through each of the handrims and pull it back to the part wrapped around me and clip. Worked pretty well to keep my hands free and able to wheel.

    Got them down to the bike shop and dropped off, then went to work. A few hours into work I got the call they were done!! YAY!!! Had to finish work and barely made it before closing but I did make it, so now I get to have my wheels over the extended weekend. Got down to the bike shop, paid the bill (they charged me less than $10 to fix my attempt and put the tube/tire on properly, which was pretty tight because they were Kendas on Spinergys, then they aired up the tires for me (both) and they were all ready for wheeling as soon as I paid for them. Whoo hoo! All I had to do was trade out the wheels (they even offered help but I can do that) - with the same axles, then put my 24 x 1 3/8 spoked wheels (Sun SW6000s) on my lap and the Spinergies on my chair and they felt awesome! I had a load of "cargo" of course but they felt really nice. The fact they were 25's didn't bug me a bit but I will admit to being mostly downhill (love the run from the bike shop), and then on flat surfaces when I tried them in my home community.

    Did really good on the bus and only had to re-think my approach to the last tiny curb (about 1/2 to 1 inch but you have to do it correctly so you don't endo) - to my car. That was mostly because of the cargo on my lap though. I had a friend with me at the moment so maybe my "help" up the curb was partly her too but I'm not sure. (In the case of this friend, she understands how to help with wheelies and such, so it doesn't bother me if she reaches over. I want most people to ask me though.)

    Yesterday went grocery shopping before New Year (non-party) and the moment I saw the crowded parking lot I was like, "okay, no crutches, CHAIR!" because I do walk some with crutches but prefer to deal with crowds from my chair (so many people don't see my crutches and bump into me anyway, which can tip me over because the crutches have only limited balance compensation ability to keep me vertical).

    It was quite the shopping trip, with three times in / out. First time we had to go back outside for Puppy (I have a service dog in training). Second time got to checkout, realized that I had changed my routine and left my wallet at home. My spare cash was not enough to cover the bill so I had to go back and put all the groceries away. During this, I got emotionally overwhelmed (I'm also Autistic and do not handle crowds well) - and left the line just crying out that it was too much. Part of the trigger was the following:
    A man got behind me in line. He appeared to "target" me and the pup. I had just dropped a big box from my lap (6 inch x 7 inch x 12 inch) and the pup, learning retrieval, was convinced it was "his" box as I will let the pup practice and learn on boxes that I am buying. (I don't mind the holes). Well pup cannot open his mouth that wide so I had to have some human help. This guy seemly forced his way in, tipping off my creepy meter with how close he stood to my chair. I did have to ask for his help to get the box.
    When they realized I didn't have enough money, they wanted to pay for my groceries (guy and supposedly his wife, although I couldn't see his wife). I declined. I am NOT in the interest of taking anyone's charity and prefer to remain fiercely independent and self-sufficient. If I had, like...majorly lost my wallet, or something like that, and had to rely on charity, that would have been different. But not in this case. So I thanked them for their kindness and, beginning to freak out and become overwhelmed, left as quickly as possible.

    Next went to one of the aisles with no people in it to start putting things back but also to calm down. Something about them just seemed like, "Okay, those people seem kind and I appreciate it, but my creepy meter is going off and I need to go." I sit in the aisle for a few minutes. Then the guy comes back and I realize he is dangling a $100 bill. He tries to impose it upon me but I insist that he take it back. He says his wife is telling him to do this. My creepy meter starts to tilt again. I do not want his $100 bill. A $10 bill I might take. But not $100. $100 is really hard to come up with this month.

    Finally I get the guy to leave. I take deep breaths with me and the pup. Next thing I know I see another woman come around the aisle. She has some similar features to the guy and she is dangling the same $100 bill. Oh, he does have a wife. She immediately comes over to me and starts imposing it on me. I decline. Next she grabs me and starts hugging me and feeling me around my shoulders and upper arms. Um, wait. This is too creepy. I guess again maybe they are trying to be friendly but hugging a stranger and feeling me that much sets off my creepy meter. I finally get my arms free and she hugs me again. I am smart and decide that I will watch her hands and finally she takes the $100, at my insistence, back with her and lets me go.

    Creepy meter completely riled now, believing they will follow me or hassle me at my car, I stay in the store with the pup for a very long length of time, watching as I put all my groceries back. I did drop the chocolate bars that my family wanted me to get and the pup stood over them like, "hey, Mystery, give the command and I'll have fun!" Except with me having to go back to home to get my wallet I took someone else's help as I don't think it's right to have the pup in training grab something like that (there's still a chance he'll leave teeth marks or slobber. I don't mind it on my groceries, but someone else might and I try to be polite).

    Next I go home, unaccosted by "kind" people. Grab my wallet and back to town I go...

    To purchase my groceries in peace, to pay for them in peace, to meet someone I hadn't seen in 8+ years who knows me and totally respected me when I said I had complete and total control of the situation (carrying groceries on my lap without disaster, I hoped) - and have a wonderful time and figure out that the way the night had gone was just meant to be.

    Oh, and about the wheels: they felt awesome the whole way. The grocery store is flat, and rolling was super easy. Parking lot was fine too. Once again I had cargo on my lap for some of the time but when I unloaded it to my car I practiced a couple of wheelies and I think they'll do fine. I might be able to go up just a tad higher now, not sure. Really feeling like I got a lot out of each "push" and it was good and strong and transferred my power directly to the floor and forward motion. Seemed like the casters didn't have any float, so maybe I can avoid adjusting them. Wheels seemed to feel well positioned under my hands without having to adjust CoG or anything like that, either.

    The real test will come when I go back to work next week (big ramps and such, "normal conditions") - but for now, I'm really happy with how the 25's feel. Also really liking my introduction to Spinergy Spox...they feel really nice.

    Very happy!!

  3. #13
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm so sorry things went so badly. I have aspergers and anxiety so I understand what you mean. The attention and subsequent issues being out with a SD or sdit in public is something those without personal experience cannot understand. For those getting dogs for psychiatric reasons, it can be hard to understand prior to the dog and make an informed decision that this is going to truly help their disability, and for some it can make it worse. Not easy for those of us with mobility dogs either though!

    Since you were putting the groceries back, it's good you didn't let the dog touch them. Generally in the service dog community anything the dog puts their mouth on needs to be bought. Along the same line as how the dog can't go sniffing food, or eating things off the floor even if available in a restaurant. If I did not like dogs, (and some people have religious issues against dogs, or severe allergies) I wouldn't want to pick something off a shelf a dog had their mouth on. Just part of us knowing when we are in public we are representing all service dogs and handler teams and working to improve ease of access for ourselves and others.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  4. #14
    Mystery, I am so glad you found some wheels that make you happy! I also enjoyed reading your narrative about all of your adventures (and misadventures)... and could picture everything as you described it!

    As a part time wheelchair user, you have NO insurance coverage? I have had a feeling that as a part time chair user myself, I would not be covered for a wheelchair either. Enjoy your new Spox! Rosie

  5. #15
    Thanks for the feedback, Lin & Rosie.

    Went to the local WalMart store today and tried the chair out with the new wheels some more. Really liking them. The pup also went with me and did well. With my help so he did not rip them, he got to retrieve two giant coloring books that slid off my lap. He was a very happy pup as he enjoys the beginning retrieve. One book might stay with me but another book is going to a small co-worker's child that likes "doggy!" as he calls my Pup (and my now-retired service dog when my fully trained one was working).

    The wheels feel really nice. I'm 5'4" if body stretched out (pull! ) with a 19 FSH on the chair (17 RSH). Arms are about 24" from top of shoulder to outstretched fingers. While I can feel the difference in the 25" wheels it feels like I am reaching down less which is giving me more push power. It feels good and we were able to do the store really well today. When I would throw my 24" knobbies on R2 it felt like they were too far back (despite being able to throw 24" regular on there and be fine) and not getting enough push but I'm not feeling negativity with the Spinergies. I am noticing that my chair feels a little different but that's to be expected. It's a good difference, at least for now. I want to give things a fair chance and then adjust one or two things at a time before I start adjusting willy-nilly.

    Re Lin's comment about the Pup: Exactly right what one pup-team does affects the others. I wish more people realized this. I have had my struggles throughout the years related to "cleaning up the emotional damage" left by the last team in a business, generally a pup who freaked out & ran amok and the owner didn't even care. Luckily, most people in my community know me now, and know that even though I now have a pup and not my experienced dog who is unflappable and awesome, they know I won't let the pup get away with much.

    This is the first pup I've trained for a formalized (beginning stages at the moment) retrieve, and yes, I do try to keep in mind that if I'm not planning to buy it, the pup keeps his mouth off of it! It helps at the moment that Pup still puts the occasional teethmarks on things, so I only feel safe to let him "retrieve" if I am going to be the one who buys the box! You should have seen him trying to pick up the first box of was so precious. All these people saw it slide off my lap and land on the floor, and they started to offer to help, and then they realized he was standing over it looking at me. I looked into Pup's eyes and I saw the "I want to try this, Mystery." So I said, "Get it! Bring it!" and he worked and worked...I had to help him flip the box to a different end that he could bite better (too wide the first time). Then he was like, "Okay, let me! This is MY box!" And he got it in front of the whole a good strong grip because he is learning I need that (I knock it out of his mouth otherwise, darn spasticity) - and brought it to my outstretched arms and didn't let it go until I had a good grip on it. I was so proud!!

    Re: Rosie
    Yes - it is true that I don't have any insurance coverage for the stuff on the chair. This is mostly because I don't use the chair at least a majority of the time in my house is actually not wheelchair accessible (and I have something called Cerebral Palsy, not SCI) - so the only places I can access with my chair if I am having a bad time are my front door / living room, computer area and kitchen. I use forearm crutches and/or wall / furniture walking to get myself around in the house. Sometimes I walk on my own too (no mobility devices) but I make sure I'm having a good day then and my spoon count is high, so I can afford to do it. If I'm feeling unstable / shaky at all I don't risk a fall - I get smart. I have some major medical issues (an ostomy, to mention one) - and if I fall and break a wrist, self-care is out of the question. Also my job which is computer dependent and my voice cannot work voice recognition software.

    Out in the community I have to be even more aware and smarter. I have a choice: I can either look down at the surface I'm walking on so I don't trip and fall, tuning out everything else. This is bad because I can walk headlong into people or cars or travel lanes (and have done so), trying to plan a safe path for my feet. OR, I can watch everything around me, and risk catching my feet / crutches in a hole I don't see and going down. Or in even a little lip of surface change like a 1/2 inch or inch tall. As soon as I lose a crutch, it's a pretty good idea that unless I can compensate with (my older dog, now retired) - service dog on the other side, the rest of me is going to go with the lost crutch. On rare occasions I have gotten lucky and caught myself with the other crutch. Then, see argument above for not breaking a wrist, and you understand why I use a chair. Also, I really struggle with whole body fatigue (and wrist pain) from the crutches, whereas that does not happen in the chair.

    For what it's worth, Doctors were totally ready to write me a script for a motorized chair (at least a scooter) - because of my balance / mobility / fatigue / distance issues, and I'm the one who said "wait, anything powered won't fit in my car and I'm not able to put a lift on it. Also, I'm not ready to lose all my exercise by just pushing a button. I would rather have a manual chair because it can fit in my car (on the seats), and it also gives me some cardio workout and other benefits that a powered device will not give me." So - the doctors agreed, but my insurance didn't. For what it's worth I believe a scooter or power chair would have been more expensive than a manual chair for my insurance.

    FYI, my insurance did pay (part) of the cost for my forearm crutches. The ergonomic properties were considered an "unneeded upgrade" (myself and my PT at the time disagree with that - we realized how much weight I was actually bearing onto my crutches with the amount of wrist pain I was in with the standard demo crutches) - and so I got stuck with about $80 of the total $130 cost for those. At the time I was too tired to fight it (after fighting with another DME who tried to cheapen me) - so I just paid and got them. I needed them.

    I would think in your case that your doctors would be able to write letters of medical necessity because of your complex medical conditions and help you get the chair at least partially paid for. If I had been willing to wait another two months for my forearm crutches I could have probably gotten the $80 covered and picked up by insurance, but I was too darn mad by then, and was using my chair exclusively because I had broke the demo forearm crutches to dangerous levels and didn't have anything but my dog training wheelchair left (a Quickie Ti, for dog training + community use. My first chair. Before Quickie R2 also came to me). So it was chair or nothing and nothing wasn't good.

    For stuff that isn't paid for by insurance, eBay and Craigslist are my favorite places. Also here is very good, as you know these things are from "wheelers" also and I tend to trust "wheelers" in their information moreso than I trust someone who does not wheel. The only thing is that you want to be fairly sure of what you want to try before you buy it out of pocket, as depending on your location and time of year / month, people might not be interested in buying medical stuff secondhand and you may have to keep it around awhile.

    I hope this helps. Sorry for the detour off topic, obviously I like to type and talk about the puppy and chairs and wheels and...

  6. #16
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    You can't lower your rsh? I can't imagine 17" rsh. I'm 5'3 and need 14-14.5 rsh.

    I don't use my chair full time, but it was fully covered. I also use joint braces, and forearm crutches to get around. The far majority of my mobility is the wheelchair, but there are situations that the forearm crutches are less damaging to my body, and I also don't want to lose the limited walking ability I do have left. I have a progressive disorder and my joints deteriorate, so I have to keep into mind protecting my upper body (which will be much easier when I finally get my wheelchair lift in my vehicle, thats the worst for me is loading and unloading) and the "use it or lose it" factor in my muscles. When you're falling a lot, most insurances will cover the wheelchair. A wheelchair is cheaper than a single hospital stay for a bad fall. I believe thats why I had no issues with coverage. But a lot does depend on the specific insurance, a lot of private insurances have deductibles so high its better to just purchase a used/demo chair. But not being a full time user in itself doesn't rule out coverage. There are also other resources depending on your specific circumstances. I'm getting my new chair and the wheelchair lift paid for by vocational rehabilitation, because I'm trying to get back to work or school and the equipment is required for that to be a possibility.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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